The Dallas Cowboys have signed quarterback Andy Dalton, proving how desperate they are to make things happen in the NFC.
You expect big signings to happen after the annual NFL Draft. You expect weird signings to happen during the offseason. Then there’s the Dallas Cowboys…who apparently struck comedy gold on Saturday evening. And now they have a backup quarterback named Andy Dalton. Yes, THAT Andy Dalton. This is “America’s Team.”
ProFootballTalk made the announcement on Saturday, with Adam Schefter also stating that it’s essentially a one-year rental for the Cowboys. On one hand, the signing is one of convenience. Dalton owns a house in Dallas, so playing for Jerry Jones means he’s literally going to be playing at home every week.
Dalton can be a solid quarterback MOST of the time. Well, unless you’re playing under the lights. Then he’s virtually useless, as he’s proved in the past he has struggled in prime time. The plus is that he’ll now be behind Dak Prescott, who has done pretty well since taking over the QB role in Dallas. Prescott is usually pretty durable, so it’s highly unlikely that Dalton will be an early starter whenever we finally get back to having actual live football on Sundays. So he’ll have some to learn things as a backup.
But why? What would possess them to go get the services of Dalton? Ultimately, my prediction is that he won’t be a huge difference-maker. But for just a one-year deal, it means that Dallas is desperate to make things happen in their division.
They haven’t had a playoff win since 2010. They haven’t seen the playoffs since 2015. Dalton has five playoff appearances, which has historically not gone well. And they’re typically a continuous punchline on social media. Following the NFL Draft, Dallas is doing everything possible to make a run at the NFC East. They made some intriguing picks last weekend, which will give Prescott and now Dalton some additional weapons to work with.
What will it take to knock the Eagles and Giants out of contention in the East? They apparently think that the near decade-long veteran will make enough of an impact to push the Cowboys over the edge. At the least, he’s going to make things interesting. But they know they have to go all out to make Mike McCarthy’s first year as head coach worth the investment.